Selma Zingrebe, Jg. 10, Watton, England, 1 Jahr

I am Selma and I decided to live in a host family in England for a year. I live on the Moneytree farm in a rural area in the east of England and go to a school called Wayland Academy together with two of my host brothers. It is very calm here. We do not have any neighbours, which means that we can watch films as loudly as we want and my host brothers preference for doing scooter tricks in the house is no problem either. The next town (village rather) is ten minutes by car away and in order to get to school we have to catch a bus, which collects all the students in the area.

Watton, the town I go to school to and its surrounding area is known to be rather hot and precarious and people tell me Wayland Academy is not really the best place to be. I can see what they mean and I am not a great fan of the school, but it does not seem to be too bad either. I get along with the teachers and classes are not very difficult. Top sets in Math, Science and English for year 10 are well manageable. Other subjects I could choose from are e.g. Business Studies, Sports Studies, Textiles Technology or Food Technology.

What I am struggling with a bit though is making friends. There is a group of people I spend my breaks with, but I would not consider them friends and it is hard to get to know others especially since I have to catch the bus home and cannot attend any clubs or other after school activities. My host family is lovely though.

The day I first met my family, the father turned around to me and said: “You’re probably wondering, what you’ve gotten yourself into here.” Of the eight children, five still live at home and they were chasing each other through the huge house… It was evident at first sight that this is a very wild family. All I felt was a longing to be part of it. Although I am not the one to be goofy, make jokes or sing out loud I feel like I have actually become a member of this family, just as I had been told when I first entered the house: “Everyone who steps through that door isn’t a guest anymore but family.”

[…] I am looking forward to further getting to know England, its traditions and people. At the moment I am especially excited about Christmas, since I am going to stay here over the holidays. With seven Christmas trees (so I have been told) and all family staying at our house it will certainly be a special event and my host sister is already counting down the days. Going abroad for a year is a big decision and adapting so completely to a new environment, in a new country with stranger people and stranger routines can be frightening and, being a person who gets nervous every time I want to go up and speak to someone, I must admit that it can be stressful, but it is worth it. In general I would say that the time has gone by far too quickly and I am so glad I have another nine months to enjoy England.

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